has begun beating its chest in the increasingly contested 529 jungle. "We'll be a player," said Michael Cemo
, president and director of AIM Distributors.
With growing popularity and a shriveling roster of unclaimed states, the firm has mounted a two-pronged attack. While AIM is currently working on its own AIM-exclusive program, it is also edging its way into other multi-manager platforms.
"We are now looking at seven 529 platforms where we have been invited to participate," Cemo continued. "We are in the midst of negotiations with Manulife and T. Rowe Price."
AIM is currently negotiating with an unnamed bank to release its own product; Cemo said he hopes to announce the deal within the next few weeks. "We're well down the road," he said.
While AIM may be well down the road with its upcoming deal, the firm is slow out of the gates. "We're a little late coming to the marketplace," admitted Cemo.
However, AIM has taken the opportunity to develop perspective on how best to enter the 529 market with strong opinions about the industry's failure to best implement programs.
What's wrong with the standard 529 model?
"It needs an advisor associated with it," said Cemo, who complained that 529s have not been as successful as hoped. He explained that the industry unreasonably expected that investors would sign up for their plans on a Web site.
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